Thursday, February 26, 2009

Utah: New Jersey of the West?

Posted By on February 26, 2009, 11:27 AM

Tom Guinney of the Gastronomy restaurants has sent a strongly-worded letter attacking EnergySolutions to Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. and every member of Utah’s Legislature.

In the Feb 23 letter, Guinney, a member of the Salt lake Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee and the Downtown Alliance trustee board, writes that if the nuclear services company is allowed to import foreign nuclear waste for burial in the Beehive State, “Utah will come to be viewed as a global New Jersey of nuclear waste, with disastrous consequences for our tourism industry.” EnergySolutions has offered Utah half of its profits from importing used foreign nuclear reactor parts, if the Legislature allows the imports.

“A healthy tourism industry depends on Utah’s image,” writes Guiney of the $7 billion Utah industry. “Many people throughout the country would not consider going on vacation to New Jersey due to its image as a haven for heavily polluting industry. In fact, development of this kind is confined to only a small portion of the state, while the rest is made up largely of small towns and beautiful rural land and seashore.”

Guinney’s letter accuses EnergySolutions of using charitable and civic contributions to cynically buy support for importing waste, and of lying about past year’s foreign waste imports.

“EnergySolutions has conducted a sustained attack not simply on the foundations of our tourism industry, but on the very sol of our state,” Guinney writes. “If the Legislature accepts the offer and allows EnergySolutions to import foreign nuclear waste, it will send the message that the state rewards those who treat its government and residents with disregard and contempt.”

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Ted McDonough

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